Kerry Group has today released its latest Interim Management Report for the half year ended 30 June 2017.
The results show that group revenue increased by 4.8% to €3.2 billion reflecting 3.8% business volume growth. Trading profit increased by 5.2% to €338m.
Growth in the foodservice channel continues to outpace growth in traditional retail outlets. E-tail and convenience channels also continue to grow strongly in selected consumer preferred categories.
Taste & Nutrition delivered 4.2% growth in business volumes and pricing increased by 1.7%. Kerry Foods’ business volumes increased by 2.3% and divisional pricing increased by 1.9% across the half year.
The Group trading margin was maintained at 10.6% reflecting 20 basis points improvement in Taste & Nutrition, positive underlying margin improvement in Kerry Foods offset by adverse sterling exchange rates resulting in a 70 basis points margin reduction, and an increased spend on the Kerryconnect Programme.
Adjusted earnings per share increased by 7.5% to 143.8 cent (H1 2016: 133.8 cent). Basic earnings per share increased by 0.9% to 127.6 cent (H1 2016: 126.4 cent). The interim dividend of 18.8 cent per share represents an increase of 11.9% over the 2016 interim dividend.
Net capital expenditure amounted to €102m (H1 2016: €63m). The Group achieved a strong free cash flow of €357m in the period (H1 2016: €379m).
Commenting on the results, Kerry Group Chief Executive, Stan McCarthy said, "Against a background of significant adverse currency movements, we achieved a strong overall business performance in the first half of 2017, outperforming market growth rates and delivering a 7.5% increase in adjusted earnings per share. In February 2017 we guided growth in adjusted earnings per share of 5% to 9% at prevailing exchange rates. Taking into account increased currency translation headwinds of 4% and a 2% improvement in underlying performance at constant currency rates, we now expect to achieve growth in adjusted earnings per share of 3% to 7% on a reported basis to a range of 333.1 to 346 cent per share (2016: 323.4 cent)."